Skip to main content

Full text of "A history of Persia"

See other formats


LIU      DISRUPTION OF SELJUK EMPIRE     121
and gained the awful title of Jahan Suzy or "World
Burner/' by the ferocity with which he reduced to a heap
of ashes the beautiful buildings erected by Mahmud and
his successors. Yet, as we, read in the Chahar Makala^
" he bought with gold the poems written in their praise
and placed them in his library."
Ala-u-Din was afterwards a prisoner in the hands of
Sultan Sanjar, and when he died in A.H. 556 (1161) the
Ghuzz were ravaging Afghanistan, and both the Ghorid
and Ghaznavid governments for a time disappeared.
The Ghorid dynasty, however, revived, and for a while
held part of the province of Khorasan ; it will be heard of
again in this connexion. }
The Rise of the Shahs of Khwarazm.—The Shahs of
Khwarazm or Khiva were descended from a favourite
cup-bearer of Malik Shah named Anushtigin, who has
already been mentioned in connexion with that monarch's
accession. His successor was Kutb-u-Din Mohamed,
whose state the Kara Khitai Turks invaded during his
reign. He sent a large army to oppose them, but was
defeated and had to pay tribute. This monarch died in
A.H. 490 (1097). His son Atsiz remained for many
years at the court of Sanjar, where he acted as Chief Cup-
bearer, but in A.H. 533 (1138) he obtained permission to
proceed to Khiva, where he promptly raised a rebellion.
Sanjar, however, easily defeated his vassal, who fled, but
shortly afterwards recovered his kingdom.
The Kara Khitai Dynasty.—The founder of the Kara
Khitai, or " Black Cathayan," dynasty of Chinese Turkestan
was a certain princely adventurer, named Yelui Tashi, a
near relation of the Cathayan Emperor. He had aided
him in his struggles against the Nuchens, who eventually
founded the Kin dynasty on the ruins of the Cathayan
Empire,1 but, realizing that the position of the Emperor was
hopeless, Yelui Tashi marched off in A.D. 1123 to seek his
fortunes to the north-west of Shensi. There all classes
rallied to his standard in recognition of his illustrious
descent, and with a large force he marched into Turkestan,
1 The Cnthayan dynasty and its fall are dealt with \*A Thousand Tears of the Tartars,
Boole VII., by B, H, Parker,